I first met Juanita a little over a year ago and even though we are thousands of miles apart, we have kept in touch, thanks to technology and social media. Juanita is a remarkable woman of excellence, integrity and grace and I am so proud to be associated with her. She is a great example of a Healthy Black Woman, a woman who balances taking care of her home, her community and herself. I am delighted to introduce Ms. World International 2012/2013, Juanita R. Ingram, Esq:
1) What is your name and what do you do?
Juanita R. Ingram, Esq.
I am a wife, mother of 2, business lawyer, motivational speaker, and author. I recently published Winning With Christ – Finding the Victory In Every Experience, as well as the 7-part Christian children’s series The Wonderfully Made Pals Presents (including Wonderfully Made Wanita; Confident Keynan; and Kind Kinsley).
I am also the founder of Happy To Be you – an organization that seeks to increase confidence and self-esteem in women and youth.
In addition, I am international beauty queen with a platform that focuses on confidence. I competed in August 2012 and was crowned Ms. World International 2012/2013. Prior to that I won the titles of Mrs. Indiana United States 2007; Mrs. US Beauties 2009; and was first runner-up/fitness winner at Mrs. Indiana America 2011.
2) Please tell us how you maintain your health, fitness and wellness goals.
I made the commitment along time ago to accomplish and retain my personal fitness goals. It is all about commitment and consistency. I believe fitness and wellness is a lifestyle. You will see results only with consistency. You have to make healthy choices and make a decision that you will do whatever it takes to be healthy. I don’t set unrealistic expectations for myself. As a working mother of a 3 and 5 year old, I know that there are limited pockets of time that I have for myself. But I made the commitment to myself to find the time for fitness. If that means that I wake up 30 minutes early 3 to 4 days a week to get in a total body workout then that’s what I do. You have to find the time.
I have personal trainers that I’ve worked with from time to time, but I am an avid fitness DVD user. Insanity, Winsor Pilates, Slim in 6, The Firm Express – you name it, I have it because I bore easily and I like variety. I also like using fitness DVDs because I can work fitness around my ever-changing schedule.
3)You were selected for the spotlight, in part, because you are an excellent example of a modern woman who manages married life, parenting and career and community service work with such grace. You also have two beautiful children. Can you tell us how you have remained committed to your health, fitness and wellness during your pregnancy and since having your children?
Well, nursing both of my children for a year+ really helped burn a lot of calories in that first year and added in getting my shape back (for more info see www.bestforbabes.org) With regard to balancing the ability to get so many goals accomplished and remain healthy, it hasn’t been easy at times but again, it is about making the commitment to yourself to put yourself first for at least 30 minutes a day. It helps to have a very supportive spouse but you also have to make a decision that no matter what, you WILL take steps toward your own health and well-being. As mothers and wives, we pour out into our families and friends on a constant basis. We focus so much on other people. I find that when I workout – even if it is just for 20 or 30 minutes, I feel rejuvenated because I know that I just did something that not only pours back into myself, but in the long-term it will set a good example to my children and prolong my life with them!
It is all about selecting a consistent fitness routine and healthy eating lifestyle that works for YOU! You can’t set yourself up for frustration trying to replicate someone else’s routine that works for them. You have to make your own fitness plans that work for your lifestyle. So whether it’s early morning workouts before the kids are up, late workouts after the kids are asleep, having a home gym, a gym membership, attending a class, working out on the weekend, mother and baby fitness classes – I’ve done them all as the seasons of my life change and shift. It’s about remaining flexible and committed.
4)What advice do you have for women who are wives, mothers and professionals and want to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
I am an advocate of either early morning or mid-day workouts in order to remain consistent. Anything that you do for 30 minutes or more, 3 to 4 days a week will allow you to see results. If you have a gym at work, sacrifice your lunch hour, workout for 30 minutes and then eat at your desk. Hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to teach you what to do in the gym and how to be effective in a limited amount of time. It can be one of the best investments you’ve ever made. But most importantly, seek out a consultation with a nutritionist and learn how to eat right for YOUR body. You have to make a commitment to yourself. In all that you do in life, don’t forget to do something for you and your own well-being. It is really not about balancing all things – because that connotes that all areas of your life will be equal –and they are not. It is really about prioritization. Make your health a big priority in life. . What does it matter if you accomplish great things, but you aren’t physically able to fully enjoy the journey or your success?! My faith in God comes first in my life. And I prioritize my family, health and work needs. Never leave yourself out of the equation of your life. Your health is worth 30 minutes of activity a few times a week.
5) Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Your Black World audience?
Yes, if you would like to find out more about the books that I’ve written or book me for any events, please feel free to visit www.happy2bu.org, follow me on FB (MsWorldIntl) and twitter (@juanitaingram) or email me at [email protected]
You can also pick up my book on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1471783863/) or at any major book retailer.